A few things we know about the next generations of couples: they're getting married later in life, deeply fear divorce, are less apprehensive about prenups, and are changing the wedding game in a lot more ways than just adding social media tags to their photos.
Millennials and Generation Z (those born between the mid-'80s and 2000) are shaking up traditions in mindful ways that make a lot of sense. From microweddings to lab-created diamonds, let's see what changes we'll see in the coming decade…
lab-created diamond from Clean Origin
Experiences are going to be key
Experiences are going to grow to reach 48% of wedding sales overall. This means an uptick in destination weddings, far-flung elopements, and a focus on honeymoon spending rather than spending on the wedding itself. It makes sense: millennials and Gen Z are more likely to snap up a cheap flight, spend time traveling prior to getting married and having kids, and are more globally-minded in general. Their spending needs to mean more than just acquiring stuff.
Gender is becoming less important
Millennials and Gen Z are accepting gender as far more fluid and less rigid than previous generations, in addition to more LGBTQ+ weddings in general, which leads to fewer rules about who should propose, who's involved in the planning, who's making speeches, walking down the aisle, and paying for the wedding. Millennials are already laying out their own cash more often, walking each other down the aisle (or nixing an aisle entirely), and foregoing parental blessings and changing last names. Expect traditions to change and adapt to match these flexible gender roles.
Eco-conscious choices will become key
There's no denying that we'll be seeing massive changes to the earth in the coming decades and many of our wedding choices will be guided by them. We're already seeing an uptick in demand for both alternatives to diamonds and lab-created diamonds, as they offer a more ethical solution that still allows for a banging diamond without worrying about what shady dealings had to go down to get it to you.
Getting away from traditional diamonds doesn't mean you have to opt not to have a ring or have to settle for something less glam. Just look for alternatives that give you more peace of mind.
Microweddings are going to boom
The prediction is in: as couples confront the realities of the costs of weddings, we're likely to see microweddings — smaller, more intimate gatherings of less than 30ish guests — become a real trend. As couples start to spend more of their own money on their weddings, it makes less sense to invite every distant cousin and parent's coworker. Will this cause some friction? Sure. But when you consider how little time you get with each of your guests in that one night or weekend, it makes sense to make sure it's only your nearest and dearest taking up that precious time.
Plus, we already know that livestreaming your wedding was already big and will only become bigger post-Covid-19. Your destination microwedding can be live on the small screen in no time.
Less formality all around
From mismatched wedding parties to no wedding party to craft beer afterparties to friend-officiants, weddings can be as formal or casual as you want them to be, and the younger folks are taking this further than ever before. They're likely going to continue to pick and choose the traditions they love and skip the rest. If this means TikTok proposals, guerilla ceremonies at the Wizarding World, and all-grandma bridesmaids, we're totally in.
Anyone else want to predict some trends?